A   S t r e a m i n g   M e d i a   P r i m e r :  
H O W   D O   I   M A K E   ( G O O D )   S T R E A M I N G   M E D I A ?
A FEW TIPS FOR EDITING STREAMING MEDIA
  
Skip the fancy stuff
 Complex transitions add 
background to achieve the same end conservation 
motion. Try to stick with straight cuts as much as 
of motion for more effi cient encoding.
possible. Focus on content, not on effects.
  
Make titles larger and simpler, and 
  
Use slow motion or even still shots
 If you've got 
let them linger longer
 Remember that Web
some shaky, handheld video you want to stream, try 
viewers are looking at your titles in a potentially 
slowing it down, or even using still images. Slow motion 
blurry, possibly as small as 160x120 pixel window. 
footage does not change as quickly, and that makes it 
Choose large font sizes, simple bold typefaces, and 
easier to encode; still images are, of course even that 
add a little space between characters. Keep back 
much easier. 
grounds simple behind your type, and be sure there's 
a signifi cant difference in brightness between the type 
  
Try matte techniques
 If you didn't shoot blue 
and the background. By keeping your titles onscreen 
screen or greenscreen, but you have suitable footage 
longer, the encoding software can recognize them as 
to mask your subject, you can composite in a still 
unchanging  content and will better maintain details.
background to achieve the same end conservation of 
motion for more effi cient encoding.
  
Try titling outside of the video frame
  Use event 
markers within your streaming video to launch titles in 
  
Try matte techniques
 If you didn't shoot blue 
the form of still or animated GIFs, as part of the Web 
screen or greenscreen, but you have suitable footage 
page surrounding the video window.
to mask your subject, you can composite in a still 
Processing and mixing audio for streaming with video
 You've just fi nished recording your latest audio masterpiece for the Web. But on playback the audio 
track sounds like an AM radio with dying batteries, and you realize it will sound even worse after 
encoding. What can you do?  Steve Cunningham answers his own question in his Streaming Media.com 
Tutorial  Creating Audio for the Web.
43
 Check it out for descriptions of many of the different tech 
niques you can use in post production to improve a recording that isn't all you had hoped for.
You'll fi nd all the tools you need for processing and mixing your audio including a 
full range of audio effects (aka fi lters) in Adobe Premiere software. Adobe Premiere 6.0 
 Streaming media, in its present 
provides a professional level audio mixing tool the Audio Mixer, so there's no need 
form, is not about being subtle. 
to purchase a separate software package to handle your audio. The Adobe Premiere 
In an audio mix of narration 
Audio Mixer resembles a sound studio style, multichannel mixer featuring gain and pan 
adjustments for up to 99 audio tracks, a VU meter on each track that lights up to 
and background, always remem 
indicate clipping, and automation features you can use to streamline your workfl ow. 
ber what pays the bills. That 
The Audio Mixer lets you make adjustments in real time, playing the audio while 
music is nice for establishing 
watching the synchronized video. You can also make adjustments in the Timeline, using 
convenient rubberband controls for volume, panning, or balancing audio. Adobe After 
mood but it is the voice over that 
Effects offers a full range of audio processing tools, as well, and allows you to generate 
sells, informs, or educates.
compressed audio and MP3's for use in your streaming media productions.
I am a big believer in clear mono 
The audio you've mixed may sound great on your computer's sound system, but by the 
time it gets encoded and streamed to an end user listening with a 28.8 Kbps connection 
sound. Stereo may be nice, but 
and a dinky little built in computer speaker, it may have turned to mush. How will you 
I don't think it currently adds 
know? Expert Tim Kennedy recommends that you  follow an old recording studio trick. 
much to the viewing experience 
Go out and get a small worthless speaker and plug it into your system. Then turn off 
for most streaming users. I would 
those stereo speakers or put down your headphones and listen closely to what that little 
mono speaker is putting out. Grab a co worker (who doesn t know the material) and 
rather provide my viewers with 
namic Medianamic Media
get a second opinion. 
yy
more data resources dedicated 
When it comes to audio for streaming with video, experts agree on the following:
to streaming the video than 
   Avoid mixing multiple channels opt for clarity. 
providing a stereo soundtrack. 
   Make sure the message gets through Sacrifi ce or subdue background music 
obe Dobe D
 Tim Kennedy
dd
in favor of clear narration that informs, educates, or sells. 
Streaming Media World
44
AA
   Stick to mono If you're streaming your audio with video, don't waste 
the bandwidth on stereo.
29
29
44   Streaming Basics: Editing Video for Streaming,  by Tim Kennedy, Streaming Media World,  March 8, 2001, http://smw.internet.com/video/tutor/streambasics2/index.html
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